Americans Think Highly Of U.S.-Made Products

Americans habitually tell pollsters they prefer to buy goods made in this country. Is this a matter of patriotism, or do they feel the U.S.-made goods are superior? An international Associated Press/Ipsos-Public Affairs survey suggests both factors are at work. Among the U.S. respondents, 76 percent “strongly agreed” they’d “rather buy an American product— assuming the quality and price were the same”; 17 percent “moderately agreed.” Just 9 percent agreed strongly (plus 17 percent moderately) that U.S. goods “are not worth the money.”

Speaking of money, Americans don’t see U.S. goods as a great bargain: 67 percent agreed (27 percent strongly) that “American products are more expensive”; 31 percent disagreed (8 percent strongly). As you can see from the chart, most Americans think well of the quality of goods made here. (The poll didn’t specify a point of reference; respondents abroad were likely comparing U.S.-made goods to their own countries’ products.)

Unsurprisingly, consumers elsewhere were less enthused. In Canada, 20 percent agreed (6 percent strongly) that they’d prefer to buy American goods. Little wonder the number was so low, since just 18 percent said they believe (4 percent strongly) that American goods are better in quality. Thirty-two percent believe (10 percent strongly) that American goods aren’t worth the money. In the five Western European countries included in the poll, Spain displayed the highest disdain for U.S. products: 38 percent believe (22 percent strongly) that American goods aren’t worth the money. The U.K. had the highest proportion of people saying American goods are higher in quality (35 percent, including 10 percent agreeing strongly). In France, 10 percent felt that way (2 percent strongly), as did 14 percent in Germany (2 percent strongly) and 15 percent in Italy (5 percent strongly).